Hi there Elizabeth. Good question. 'Everyone' or 'Everybody' has been used countless times as a rational for a certain action or decision, relying on peer and societal pressure to influence a person's thinking. I'm sure you've heard both "Well, everyone else is doing it." and "If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump as well?" True, they are not in the same context, but serve to illustrate the conflicting methodology some will employ to affect personal decision.
I realize that there are many people out there who will 'go with the flow', as it is much easier to allow someone else to make your decisions than to make them yourself. When you make your own decisions, ultimately, you stand alone, as the decision made is yours and yours alone, not a consensus of many. I feel that the groups "they", "them", "people", "everyone", and "everybody" should be used as a barometer, or as mentioned prior, as a compass. Perhaps "they" are on to something, or perhaps part of a 'bandwagon'. That is where discretion comes into play.
To be an individual is to be independent. To be independent is to rely on one's self. However, we as humans need the Brownian motion of other humans to remind us that we a human. So while it is OK to be apart from the 'crowd', be not totally separate from them. Too often we have seen the effect of total isolation upon the human psyche. More often than not, it is a downward spiral.
Bottom line: Listen and learn from "everyone", using their successes and failures as lessons to draw your own conclusions.
As I sit here dimly thinking
Watching modem lights a-blinking
Churning out poetic hash.
Lord, in all Your piety,
Help me keep my sanity:
Please don't let the modem crash! --Alicat