The CB radio fad actually died twice. It was very popular in the late 1960s and died in the mid 1970s. That was long before cell phones and texting. At that point it was not replaced or pushed out by anything. It just died out naturally like most fads. It then came back later in the 1990s. The second round only lasted a few years. It appears that cellphones did have an impact on CB radio for the second round because both are primarily mobile communications. The truckers are probably very pleased that most citizens abandoned CB radio because it has been traditionally used by truckers as a primary means of communication.
I'm a little bit older than most people here. Most people in my age group have trouble fathoming how social media has survived this long. I have a presentation that I give to groups of business executives regarding how to best utilize social media for business. I can say that without a doubt at least 95% of people over 50 have a very difficult time grasping the social media concept. Their concept of communications is quite different.
Here is why social media as we know it today is likely to fade out.
1. The concept itself is very weak as are the communication methods. You have to go to the social media site to monitor the communications. Most communications are public or semi-public, so it is more like a bulletin board that has been repackaged to focus on a group of "friends," most of which you do not know and will never meet.
2. There isn't any clear way to generate revenue other than through advertising. That could all be wiped out in a heartbeat if a better promotional method comes along. As large as You Tube is, it has been operating at a loss since it started due to bandwidth costs. It might turn a small profit this year for the first time due to advertising sales.
3. The business model for social media is very close to the failed dot com investment model of the late 1990s where the goal was not to generate money through the business, but rather to make money when the company is sold or goes public. A Company's "value" was based upon hype. I remember dot com companies in the 1990s who gathered operating funds from venture capitalists and then joked about their "burn rate", which meant how fast they were spending investment money without generating any return.
4. Social media companies do not accrue any real asset value. If the company goes out of business, there isn't anything of value left other than a few office fixtures and perhaps some PCs and web servers. There isn't any product or inventory or anything of real value. Like the dot coms, the value of a social media company is based upon hype.
5. From the perspective of people who know how to make money with a traditional business model, most social media appears to be an incredible waste of time. It has also very likely diminished productivity for companies who allow their employees to freely engage in social media while on the job. You might as well allow them to stand around the water cooler chatting all day.
Yes, social media as we know it today will eventually fade away. Is it a fad? Perhaps. That depends upon whether or not it survives. I see it as evolving. My Space was the best thing for a while and now is rapidly fading. People will eventually tire of Twitter, FaceBook and move to newer technologies and concepts.
"It's inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians." -Henrik Ibsen