How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency is a collection of essays written by Akiko Busch. Akiko Busch has been writing about culture, remote places in the world, and design for over two decades as a contributing editor at Metropolis magazine and a faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Akiko examines and compares our identity and relationship with the modern world where “visibility has become the common currency of our time, and the twin circumstances of social media and the surveillance economy have redefined the way we live.” Busch features eleven essays to present her meditations and philosophies to invite the readers to slow down to connect with her thoughts. She shares her fascination and enthusiasm in modern desire and beauty in choosing to disappear from a preoccupied world that tracks every movement, expression, and thought.
In chapter 4 – Invisiphilia, Akiko shares about her underwater diving experience. She connected her experienced “sensation of life slowing down, of being suspended in time, of being outside the rhythm of ordinary life” as being submerged – becoming a refugee from the visible world. It is part of people’s innate desire to escape the repetitive rhythm of ordinary life. She further writes about her underwater discoveries that bring a person to a tranquility and peaceful state. The chapter concludes with a vague assertion that the practice of becoming invisible will require letting go of our self-ego that I am the center of things. This chapter led me to reflect on our modern world of selfies and their impact on identity. What is the newly visible world that many people are connected to? I would categorize the visibility state of our modern world as a world of selfies – the world of visual identity that is made up or puffed-up in a way. More and more, the younger you are, you are being forced to be connected through the visible world of many layers of ‘selfies’ where you get to choose the visual world that you live in. Tremendous money, time, and efforts are spent building the identity and inventing the stories, which leaves many tired and busy in the ordinary world.
Invisiphilia is not an accurate word. I think it is a made-up word by Akiko, and I think she wants to express love or fondness for becoming invisible. Personally, I think many of today’s world of selfies are more used to describe the innate desire to become invisible and detached from reality, an escape from the pressures of reality that makes us happy, at peace, and be in a state of tranquility. Seeking happiness, peace, and a state of tranquility is a vital renewal discipline for our life rhythm. But I wondered if seeking happiness, peace, and a state of tranquility in the modern form of building up a fragmentation of self-identity through many ‘selfie’ images is healthy for the individual and the society? The current data and research is showing teenagers who are adding more layers of fabricated identities and interacting through text messages and online comments as the main communication channel are exposed to a higher level of anxiety, emptiness, and frustration because it simply drains life living in the made-up world of false identities. How can we, as the older generation of faith and God’s church help our emerging generation to be rooted in happiness, peace, and tranquility that can only come from God our creator?
 Akiko Busch. How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency (New York: Penguin Books, 2020), 5.
 Busch. How to Disappear, 82.