Amateur radio is not CB.

"Oh, you mean CB, right?"

No, Good Buddy, Amateur Radio is a completely different service with different goals, different technical parameters and different equipment. In short, CB is used for talking and just talking, whether you're shooting the breeze or calling the dispatcher at your trucking company. Amateur radio is oriented toward radio experimentation and formal communications. Yes, shooting the breeze gets included there, although business communications do not. Community service and emergency communications are a big part of the amateur world. I don't need to say that to folks in disaster-prone areas, though :-)

If all you want to do on the radio is chitchat, and you don't care about how the radio works, or how to make it work better, CB (or FRS, maybe) is for you. But, if you want to experiment with radios, learn how they work, build your own transmitters and help serve your community, then I invite and encourage you to get a license and get on the air.

Here's some points of comparison. Another list is here.

ServiceCBAmateur RadioFRS
Purpose To provide private short-distance voice radio service for your personal and business activities. To provide a non-commercial radio service to the public, especially emergency communications; to provide a means for individuals to contribute to the radio art through experimentation and communication; to provide for a trained pool of radio operators, technicians and electronics experts; to enhance international goodwill. To provide family-related and recreational communications
Rule Parts 47 CFR 95 subpart C 47 CFR 97 47 CFR 95 subpart B
Frequencies 40 individual frequencies near 27 MHz, chosen as 40 AM or 80 SSB channels. 25 continuous bands of frequencies covering about 7% of the entire radio spectrum. 14 individual frequencies near 462 MHz
Power Output Up to 12 watts Up to 1500 watts Up to 0.5 watts
Distance permitted 150 miles ("shooting skip" is illegal for CB.) Worldwide, including outer space. Line-of-sight. (5 miles is about the maximum you can expect)
May use repeaters No Yes No
Maximum antenna height 60 feet 2000 feet (requires FAA Approval if over 200 feet or near an airport.) Stock antenna supplied with radio only
License required No Yes No
Conduct data communications No Yes (even email!) No
Conduct business Yes No Yes (I expect a crackdown on non-family-related business use)
Connect to the phone network Only with manual connection and supervision at the connection point. May connect using automatic equipment. No
Construct your own radio No Yes (the amateur service is the only service where you are allowed to construct your own radio and operate it without specific approval of the FCC.) No
Get to say words like ****, ----, ####, and %%%%@@@@@@ No (Surprise! Now clean it up, you!) No No