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Dialing down distractions, the Finnish island of Ulko-Tammio goes phone-free

Claiming to be the world's first phone-free tourist island, Ulko-Tammio, nestled in the Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park, is urging visitors to switch off their smart devices, unplug from digital distractions and engage more intimately with their surroundings.

Health experts suggest that taking a break, even briefly, from constant digital stimulation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Paired with the proven health benefits of being in nature, the island's proposed digital fast can significantly contribute to mental wellbeing.

While tourists are encouraged to put their phones away during their visit, participation is voluntary. The island's managers, Parks & Wildlife Finland, are open to replicating the concept in other parts of Finland.

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Ulko-Tammio's phone-free policy serves to combat the ever-increasing digital preoccupation that often overshadows real-world experiences. ("Should I share this view on IG?" "Let's do a TikTok of us getting lost in the woods." "I wonder if Sunita replied to my email?") For better and for worse, we live in a hyperconnected age. Many people struggle with digital overload and have difficulty unplugging, even during vacations. Although most would acknowledge the benefits of a digital detox for their mental health, putting the idea into practice can seem like an uphill task.

The Finnish island's digital fasting experience allows tourists to experience being offline and offscreen amid the serenity they've traveled to enjoy. When they return to the connected world, they might be more conscious of their digital habits. Since mindful disconnection is increasingly becoming a priority, how could your brand facilitate a digital fast, detox or even just a brief moment of detached serenity?

Related: Tree desks in Finland combine forest bathing and remote working

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Photo by: Annika Ruohonen for Visit Kotka-Hamina