Since I was a teenager, my parents have stressed the importance of being conscious of what I post online. As a lot of people have learned (mostly the hard way) in this heavily media-influenced society we now live in, what we post online can have negative effects. Last week, I saw a story circulating on Facebook about a toddler who was murdered by her foster mother. This week, a local news station re-posted that story as if the murder case is current.

The story is about a two-year-old, named Alex Hill, in Texas who was killed by her foster mother. The girl was removed from her biological family because her dad admitted to smoking marijuana while little Alex was upstairs sleeping. While in the care of her foster mother, Sherill Small, Alex was murdered by Small. Get the original story (from 2014) here.

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Texas Girl Was Taken Away From Parents Because They Smoked Pot, Only to Be Killed in Foster Care ANGELICA LEICHT f NOVEMBER 6, 2014 I 9:30AM AA'

Now, this true story is horrifying and heartbreaking. But this story had been shared everywhere from Facebook to legitimate news sites as "breaking" news, YESTERDAY. A North Dakota TV station even covered the story online. Some stories also say the foster mother was sentenced this past Tuesday - which is completely false. The Alex was murdered in 2013, Sherill Small was sentenced in 2014, and she died in prison in 2016. You can read about Small's passing here.

Now, everyone makes mistakes - even online - but it is important to be conscious of what we're posting and sharing. Once information is out there, it takes seconds for the world to see it (and even believe it). Always remember to post with caution.