If you’re hoping to post on Instagram while visiting the Finnish island of Ulko-Tammio, you’re out of luck – the island has just become the world’s first phone-free tourist area.
This summer, the remote, uninhabited island is urging visitors to unplug and “to take in the island and its nature with all their senses,” according to a news release.
“We encourage visitors to put their phones away voluntarily and to focus their senses on nature rather than on their phones. This is a great initiative that could be implemented in other nature and recreational destinations, too,” said Joel Heino, manager of outdoor recreation and visitor management at Parks & Wildlife Finland, in a statement.
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Don’t worry, your phone won’t be collected upon arrival – the digital fasting is technically voluntary. There’s phone service across the island if needed.
“People are not meant to be glued to screens all the time. Even a short digital fast can be useful and improve our well-being and help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression,” said Terhi Mustonen, psychologist and Program Manager of the Limitless Gaming and Limitless Social Media programmes at the Sosped Foundation, in a statement.
Spending time outside in nature without technology has been found to be beneficial for mental health. Nature’s known to help calm stress and anxiety while boosting moods. Research shows that a 90-minute stroll in nature can help reduce negative rumination. It can also help people feel more connected to the world and those around them.
Ulko-Tammio is one of the islands in the Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park, located along the Baltic Sea, and offers visitors an escape into pristine nature. Tourists can explore the rocky shoreline, hiking trails and check out a bird watching tower to see some of the island’s rare birds and plants.
Tents or cabins are also available for overnight camping. The island can be reached via boat.
Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at email@example.com