I don't think our English names are meaningless. Names can tell you a lot about the society the person lives in. In the past people would usually give a new baby a family name. My mother had a traditional mindset, so she named me after my great- great-grandmother and my brother after her father.
Our society seems to be getting more individualistic, though. People nowadays try not to give their children the most popular names, and there is a lot of alternative spellings of common names. I know little girls named Carleigh, Harleigh, and Emmalee. Last names as first names are just as common as ever, although it seems that people now choose them for the way they sound rather than using a family name. I'm sure everyone has met at least one Madison, Mackenzie, Riley, etc.
You can also see gender bias in names. Traditionally masculine names like Leslie, Fern, Beverly, and Meredith have gradually gone from boy's names to unisex names to girl's names. You never hear about boys being given a traditionally female name.
I have heard about hippie type communities where they recommend you give yourself a name that you think fits your personality. I don't like this idea. I don't think that our names are for us; they are for the people around us. Names tell other people who we are, where we are from, what kind of people we live with. You cannot name yourself; your people have to name you.