Psychologist Steve Taylor recalls watching tourists in the British Museum in London who weren’t really looking at the Rosetta Stone…on display in front of them , so much as preparing to look at it later, by recording images and videos on their phones. So intently were they focusing on using their time for a future benefit – for the ability to revisit or share the experience later on – that they were barely experiencing the exhibition itself at all. Of course, grumbling about young peoples smartphone habits is a favourite pastime of middle-aged curmudgeons like Taylor and me. But his deeper point is that we are all frequently guilty of something similar. We treat everything we’re doing – life itself in other words – as valuable only insofar as it lays the groundwork for something else.
from the always interesting Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to LIve it