There are times when you just have to laugh. Last week, when my article listing the reasons in favour of a European Super League went viral, one or two of the responses were not, shall we say, entirely savoury.

One chap saw fit to slide into my DMs to berate me. Another young woman felt that my views in support of the continent's club football elite were clear evidence that I was the sort of person capable of committing incest.

Charming. Anyway, the former soon slid back out and then back in again to apologise, once he’d actually read the article, while the latter deleted her tweet fairly rapidly when she, too, appeared to realise that my list of reasons in support of the ESL was in fact a six-word epic saying that none in fact existed.

That's ok, then.

Now, these nonsensical reactions are clearly not to be taken seriously or compared with the barrage of abuse levelled at some footballers for, it seems, the various crimes of playing, scoring, celebrating, being black, being in existence, being anything that can get a rise out of the easily triggered, the copycat cowardly or the miserably prejudiced.

Yet it’s a still a small glimpse at the terrain we are all now on and are, as long as inaction prevails, expected and assumed to be on.

An alternative opinion: abuse. A difference stance: abuse. An alternative shirt colour: abuse. Scoring, smiling, being: abuse. A clickbaity article pretending to be in favour of a closed-shop cartel of rich and entitled clubs at the top of European football, but not really being in favour after all once you get round to reading it: accusation of extremely close inter-family relations.

Ok, let’s get serious. Boycotting the forums where this stuff runs loose for a period of 81 hours is unlikely to leave much of a scratch on the people who think it fine and fair to post monkey emojis to black players, or type a whole range of other insults before pressing send.

It might not create a particularly large bead of sweat on the brows of executives at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram either. Come 11.59pm on Monday night, we’ll all hop back on and things will go largely back to normal.

So let’s not pretend football’s boycott of those platforms will suddenly transform the internet into a place only of kindness and caring and kittens and flowers.

And let’s also not kid ourselves either that the game will countenance a vastly longer and arguably more effective shutdown, since modern football is far too reliant on social media for its reach and its revenues to press the off switch and leave it in that position.

But still.

Sometimes a headline-grabbing stance is worthwhile all the same. It pushes the matter into conversation, keeps it there for longer. It tells you that there is a major problem here, not an isolated one that can be dealt with simply by arresting a couple of smartphone racists.

And the problem is major. Imagine, if you will, being that footballer of moderate to high profile switching on their phone, seeing what the world of instant fan engagement has brought today, and reading what Raheem Sterling has had to read, or what Marcus Rashford has been hit with, or Paul Pogba, or Tyrone Mings, or Axel Tuanzebe, or Alex Scott, or Karen Carney, or…

No. We needn’t go on. We'd need all day. A system that allows such people to be besieged by abuse is not a system at all. A forum that enables it is not a forum. A mechanism designed to intercept it, but which struggles and fails, is not a mechanism.

Social media is a force for good, for bad and all points in between. It can be a blight on one's mental health, or it can help. Chatting on Twitter to the community of Carlisle fans has certainly boosted me in a few low moments in the last couple of years. At best, it provides invaluable connection, diversion, a bond.

Yet if all of football, the game in its entirety, feels it can do without it for a weekend all the same, then we could certainly do with heeding that thought.

Carlisle United have not been scarred by very many cases of social media abuse. Or have they? It is not difficult to remember, for instance, the head-shakingly crass homophobic insults aimed at Harry McKirdy last season, while a simple trawl of the Blues’ weekly Twitter and Facebook output (and that of most other clubs) would soon bring you to some replies that are the wrong side of angry and the far side of salty, sometimes for the simple felony of losing a football match.

Not the decent majority. But it never is, and you do have to wonder whether this is like refereeing now, where the stick and the grief from some angles is so persistent it becomes background noise: where people simply do not have the time, patience or will to confront each and every episode?

Either way – if the Blues’ staff, players and peers feel it is high time for a stand on behalf of the broader game, then as a journalist who reports on their every move, I will stand with them.

If they wish to make the point that Twitter and so forth are not worth the candle every last minute of every last day, then I’ll sign up to that too.

It might not be professionally ideal – social media is a strong driver of the News & Star’s web traffic, the same as every other news title – but I’m grateful my editor and colleagues are comfortable with the bigger picture.

As such: no Tweeting or Facebooking from me from 3pm today until after 11.59pm on Monday.

Our usual content will still be in the usual places. The News & Star website will carry all the coverage you’d expect of United’s game at Leyton Orient. I will be live-blogging the action from Brisbane Road, providing plenty of pre and post-match coverage too, as well as any breaking news between this afternoon and Monday night.

There will be a column tomorrow morning looking at how the Blues move forward from their play-off disappointment, comments from United personnel, a piece on vandalism at grassroots football facilties later today, and our print editions will also cover all of this and more; same as ever.

All I won’t be doing is going on social media to promote it, because social media needs to be a slightly quieter place for the weekend.

I'm absolutely sure that this won’t be for everyone. Many will think it pointless, trite, a gesture. UEFA in particular joining in might stick in one or two throats given their paltry, wrist-slapping approach to sanctioning racist incidents in stadiums over the years.

Agreed. This isn’t a fix-all. At the same time, instinctively it would not feel right to watch and criticise the many bad things we see on social media but then sit on the sidelines when something proactive is at least attempted to call it out.

As journalists we’re normally supposed to observe and report, not join in. This time, though, is an exception worth making.