updated 16 Jan 2013, 04:11
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Thu, Jan 10, 2013
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Celebs snoop, too
by Jeanne Tai

Digging for dirt

Last year, two women made headlines after admitting to snooping on their partners.

Radio DJ Vernetta Lopez revealed in her autobiography, Memoirs of a DJ, which was released in August, how she had found out about her ex-husband’s affair when she unearthed a love letter from his mistress while clearing out his car boot. She even staked him out in a friend’s car to confirm her suspicions.

In August, The Sunday Times columnist Sumiko Tan revealed that she frequently checks her husband’s SMSes, e-mails and letters – with his permission. Her nickname for herself? “Cyber snoop”.

It’s no shocker that women like checking up on their partners. And it’s never been easier.

With the rise of new technologies – Facebook check-ins, Instagram updates, Whatsapp messaging – our lives have never been more awash with information about our other halves. With a click, we can find out where they were last week, who they were with and what they had for dinner – pictures included.

“Social media provides us with ‘eyes and ears’ from multiple sources. It’s an endless source of information,” says psychologist Daniel Koh of Insights Mind Centre.

Problems begin when women overanalyse their beaus’ every move, tweet and poke. A photo of your partner hugging a female friend, for instance, can spark off wild speculations about their relationship.

Even seemingly innocuous technologies have led to a heightened sense of paranoia, says private investigator Raymond Lim, founder of APAC Investigation & Consultancy. He points to popular instant messaging service Whatsapp, which indicates when a user is online or not.

This has made women more sensitive to inconsistencies in their partners’ behaviour – for instance, if they don’t reply to a message though they are “online”. “The women then start to monitor their boyfriend’s Whatsapp signals and conduct their own ‘investigations’,” says Raymond.

He’s even seen cases where women check if their boyfriend’s online statuses “sync” with those of a suspected fling.

Raymond says he is regularly consulted by single women who ask him to secretly tail their boyfriends. Before last year, these were mainly older women in their 30s and 40s.

But thanks to Whatsapp-stalking and a growing affluence, younger tech-savvy women have started trickling in, forking out between $3,000 and $4,000 a week for his services. He now gets about three to four such “boyfriend tailing” assignments a month from women across ages. Most of the time, the men are indeed caught cheating.

Surprisingly, some of the younger ones are just casual daters with no plans to wed. “They just want a sense of security,” he says.


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