Step into this and step out of your phone, Source: Visit Kotka Hamina

Discover the world’s first ‘phone detox’ island, in Finland

Discover the world’s first ‘phone detox’ island, in Finland

Ulko-Tammio is promoted as a screen-free destination for the weary citizens of today

Ulko-Tammio is the name of a small uninhabited island located in the Gulf of Finland, part of an archipelago of similar islands not far from the maritime border of Finland with Russia. It’s a quaint and idyllic sailing and hiking getaway and probably it might have gone largely unnoticed until the Kotka Hamina tourist board decided to promote is as the world’s first phone-free isle.

The island of Ulko-Tammio, which is located off the coast of Hamina, will be a phone-free area this summer. We want to urge holidaymakers to switch off their smart devices and to stop and genuinely enjoy the islands”, Mats Selin, an expert in island tourism at Visit Kotka-Hamina, explains.

That’s as straightforward as it gets. However, that doesn't mean that the island will have no Internet connection or that visitors will find themselves under the radar. The aim of the planners is to rely on the purposeful willingness of the visitors themselves to get separated from their phones while they’re enjoying their visit to the place. However, they’re not forced to do so, just encouraged in a friendly way.

After all, if one wants to stare at screens, there’s a whole other world where you can do that. Why not go on the wild side and try a new approach in this rugged spot? You may even notice how beautiful it is.

We need a digital fast, we do

Technology is part of our everyday lives, and many people find it difficult to put their phones down even on holiday. Sharing your holiday activities on social media might feel more important than simply enjoying the moment. We take our smartphones with us everywhere, so many people are always within reach and spend any idle moments they have scrolling through their social media feeds.

However, Terhi Mustonen, psychologist and Program Manager at the Sosped Foundation explains that this new phenomenon is unnatural and actually challenges our mental health.

Mustonen affirms: “Even a short digital fast can be useful and improve our well-being and help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression”.

And going to the island, far from the mainland, is an ideal opportunity to challenge yourself to let go of the phone, even if for a bit. Luckily, Ulko-Tammio is part of a national park and it boasts beautiful vistas, clean air, sea breeze, nature and a bird-watching tower.

That last one definitely gives visitors the chance to train their eyesight on something that is further than their nose and actually might even require some concentration.



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